Article 24 Montreal Convention (MC) provides that the Depositary of the MC, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), will review the limits of liability prescribed in Articles 21, 22 and 23 at five-year intervals. For this purpose, it shall measure the inflation factor in the Consumer Price Indices of the states whose currencies comprise the Special Drawing right SDR (currently USD, EUR, GBP, CNY and JPY). If ICAO states an increase of more than 10 percent, it notifies the member states accordingly about the calculated new liability limits. In absence of a disapproval of the majority of member states within three months after notification, the new liability limits come into force six months after notification of member states.
The change of liability limits comes into force by notification and absence of disapproval only. An additional documentation, and evidence of absence of disapproval, is a second issue of the notification. A change of the wording of the MC itself is neither necessary nor scheduled.
The first revision of liability limits was conducted in 2009. The liability limit in Art. 22 (3) MC (liability for destruction, loss, damage and delay of cargo) was increased from 17 to 19 SDR/kg.
The latest second issue of notification by ICAO has the following information: “States Parties to the Montreal Convention of 1999 are accordingly invited to make provisions as necessary in accordance with their domestic legal requirements to give full effect as of 28 December 2019 to the revised limits.”
As per December 28, 2019, the limit in Art. 22 (3) MC is increased from 19 to 22 SDR/kg. The Cargo Services Conference (CSC) of The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has advised its members, the airlines, to use an accordingly updated version of IATA Resolution 600b (the terms and conditions on the back side of any Air Waybill) on their respective Air Waybills.
Anchor/RD January 29, 2020